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Guess How Many Times This Pregnant Mama Has Consumed That Orange Glucose Test Drink?

Safer alternatives to the glucose test when pregnant

Last week when I shared 5 Prenatal Standards That I Refuse, the conversation, if I can call it that, got a little heated on social media and I hadn’t even mentioned the orange glucose drink yet. Some folks were up in arms that I would say no to my doctor about anything, apparently, or they didn’t read the post and assumed I said NO to everything.

Others echoed my sentiments, and still more were on the far end of the spectrum and had no medical care at all – no ultrasounds, no doctors, no tests of any kind. I see my own choices as slightly to one side of the middle, personally – a little closer to the “no medical intervention” side than the “do everything your doctor says without question” side. Clearly others didn’t agree!

Out of all that mess, which is both intriguing and exhausting to keep up with and participate in, I did realize that I forgot one important prenatal test that deserved mention: the glucose drink and blood test for gestational diabetes.

It’s at this point that I need to remind you that I’m just a mom telling my story. I don’t have any medical knowledge of any kind. You definitely should not listen to me or take any of this as medical advice. We’re just chatting about our own experiences, m’kay?

This is the second in a five-part series. Catch up here:

I would never tell anyone that the test isn’t important, because gestational diabetes is a BIG deal and for sure something that needs to be known and addressed via a healthy, low-carb diet. Perhaps all pregnant women should eat more that way, my hunch says. All human beings, perhaps. (Read how in my elimination diet meal plans.)

(top photo modified from lisasolonynko via MorgueFile)

Take heart – I have a list of my Top 10 Baby Steps to take as you move towards real food living. Whether you want to get healthy while pregnant or get your family turned around in their nutrition, you won’t want to miss it!

Here’s what I can tell you about the glucose test, strictly from my experience:

INGREDIENTS in the Orange Drink for the Glucose Test During Pregnancy

The ingredients in the glucose solution are nowhere near “real food” and have some quite nasty additives, some of which are not recommended for pregnant women. They may include:

  • purified water, 50g Dextrose (D-glucose derived from corn), Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate, 0.1%, FD&C Yellow #6. It also labeled as “Gluten Free & Dairy Free”. (source)
  • Orange/Fruit Punch/Lemon Lime flavors: Dextrose from corn, Citric Acid from corn, Natural Flavoring (corn), Sodium Benzoate, Yellow #6, Purified Water  (source)
  • Simply Pure flavor: Dextrose from corn, Potassium Sorbate, Purified Water (source)
  • Glucose syrup, maltodextrin, purified water, acidity control compound E330, preservative E211, cola aroma, foodstuff color E150, and carbonic acid. (source)

Do You Really Need a Sugar High During Pregnancy?

Orange glucose test when pregnant - Too much sugar!

I felt mighty ill the whole day after having to chug the orange stuff during baby no. 3’s pregnancy, which was the first one after we were really, really eating real, traditional foods and I had weaned myself down to the point where I appreciated lightly sweetened foods and thought that mainstream, heavily sweetened desserts felt too rich, both in my mouth and in my belly.

That drink was a LOT of sugar at once for me!

Are There Alternatives to the Orange Glucose Test Drink for a Pregnancy Diabetes Test?

Grain Free Pumpkin Pancakes 1

I did ask my OB about alternatives with baby no. 3. He said there weren’t any other than eating jelly beans (lots of them) which I assumed were probably just as bad as the orange glucose drink. (In hindsight, if I had used a naturally flavored and colored bag of jelly beans, they would have been preferable.)

I said that I had heard that you could just eat a breakfast of pancakes, syrup, etc. and make sure the nutritional content equaled the 50g of glucose. He said “not possible.” (I of course had “heard that on the Internet” from a reader and I do try to give professionals the benefit of the doubt sometimes…although I am more and more learning to be a conscious health consumer!)

The very next month after following doctor’s orders and enduring the nasty orange drink, my OB told me that another patient with food allergies had pressed further and he discovered that actually, I was dead on accurate with my questioning. This patient had eaten pancakes. (Sigh) So glad I had the orange stuff, right?


Genevieve from Mama Natural offers great week 2 week pregnancy updates. I wish I had these when I was pregnant!

I’m so happy to introduce you to Genevieve from Mama Natural. I loved her video series for years before I met her and I’m proud now that our families have become dear friends. She’s such a sweet, genuine woman!

Not only do I love her weekly pregnancy updates, but she is now offering a Natural Baby Care Course. I wish I had this with mine!

Imagine having access to a team of expert health professionals in your home, whenever you need them, as you raise your newborn.

  • A holistic pediatrician to give you tips on what to feed your baby.
  • A board certified lactation consultant to help you master breastfeeding.
  • And a firefighter / CPR instructor to make you aware and prepared.

This is a masterclass in everyday baby care. You’ll be supported for ALL the challenges that come up with baby in this program.

  • It’s easy to access. Watch the classes on your own schedule. No traveling across town after a long day at work.
  • It’s comfortable. Learn in the privacy of your own home—no sterile classrooms filled with rows of uncomfortable chairs. Simply curl up in your favorite spot and soak it all in.
  • It’s fast, but comprehensive. Other baby care courses speed through the most important topics to cover it all. We don’t do that. Instead, we unpack all of the issues that come up postpartum, but we do so in small chunks so you can squeeze the education into your busy life.
  • It’s affordable. Our course is priced lower than in-person classes and less than most online alternatives as well.

More of a book person? You must check out Genevieve’s week-by-week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth. It’s the natural answer to “What to Expect” and soooo comprehensive and beautiful!!

Finally…Another Alternative for Glucose Testing (and I didn’t even have to go anywhere!)

How to Avoid the Orange Drink for Glucose Screening in Pregnancy

(photo by Alisha Vargas via Flickr)

With this fourth pregnancy, I did want to make sure I was “safe” from GB. My diet is pretty darn good although not impeccable of course, and although my sweet tooth has been been toned down and appreciates dark chocolate more than M&Ms, it’s still quite a vocal force in my late-night snacking adventures!

My  midwife told me I could just do some finger picks with a blood sugar monitor like those used by diabetics – some on waking (fasting) and some after high-carb meals. My mother-in-law is a diabetic and happily lent me her extra monitor. My levels were excellent, I didn’t have to waste an hour sitting at a lab, and I didn’t have to drink the awful orange stuff. I’m a very happy patient!!

Foods You Can Eat for the Gestational Diabetes Test in Pregnancy

Better alternatives to the glucose test when pregnant

If you’re looking for alternatives to the orange glucose drink for gestational diabetes testing in pregnancy, it sounds like there are also a myriad of foods you can eat and still have the regular blood draw. They potentially include (via my Internet medical degree, obviously ask your doctor to do his/her own research…and if you have a doctor unwilling to look into it…well…I finally have some strong opinions about that!):

  • 20 oz. of a natural ginger ale
  • 14 oz. of orange juice not from concentrate
  • 10 oz. of cranberry juice
  • 10 oz. of grape juice
  • you could choose from this list to equal 50g as measured at the beginning of each line:
  • (30) 6 oz Grape juice
  • (15) Slice of bread
  • (30) cup of cereal
  • (20) banana
  • (12) cup of milk
  • (30) two slices of bread
  • (40) 16 oz orange juice
  • (40) 8 oz apple juice
  • sources: 1, 2

Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

I also appreciated reading these stories of women who also wanted to avoid the orange stuff from Anastasia via Today’s Mama, What I Gather (Paleo), and Oaxacaborn.

Are you surprised that regular fruit juice can take the place of the orange drink? What has been your experience with the glucose test or gestational diabetes in pregnancy?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

About The Author

83 thoughts on “Guess How Many Times This Pregnant Mama Has Consumed That Orange Glucose Test Drink?”

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hi Iris,

      The 40 means 8 ounces of apple juice contains 40gms of glucose. So if you use options from that list you want to look at the glucose amounts in parenthesis and consume a combination that will equal 50gms.

  1. Can’t you just eat/drink the proper amounts of substitutes listed and not tell them anything at the lab? That’s what I did in my first pregnancy (drank the equivalent amount of OJ) and everything was fine. If it’s supposed to get you “proper” results, why even tell them you didn’t drink the nasty orange stuff? I am pregnant with #2 and have my test tomorrow morning. Thanks!

  2. This is great conversation piece on this! I switched OB’s and midwives a few times and finally have the OB I like.We are taking Bradley Method classes and really want a natural birth. However, his practice does have you do the glucose test, but they give you the drink to take home and then show up at lab. So I am just not going to drink it and drink the equivalent in orange juice. Who it their right mind consumes that much high fructose corn syrup in one sitting anyhow? It can’t alway deem appropriate results!

    1. Is this what you ended up doing? I just posted a similar comment…That’s what I did for my first pregnancy and it was fine. Planned on doing it again but curious why so many people even tell the doctor or lab they didn’t drink it?!

      1. My lab has you drink it in front of them, so just not doing it isn’t an option. I’ve already done it once, and am going to have to do it again. I’m hoping for an alternative, because I was very sick the last time.

  3. The first time I did it was when I was pregnant with my son. I drank the orange drink, and went and got my blood drawn after an hour. I felt absolutely terrible. I threw up, got Shakey, got sweaty. It was not fun. Either way, it came back great, with results in the nineties, and that was the end of that.

    Now I am on my second pregnancy. I was overweight before I got pregnant with this one, and knew I would be high risk for gestational diabetes. I also knew I didn’t want to do the test again. I just flat out told my OB, in a kind and respectful way, that I am willing to do any alternatives but not drink that drink. She is now just making me prick my finger twice a day for a week. I am simulating my own glucose tolerance test at home, with an Odawalla Super Juice. It has 51 grams of sugar, and I am doing a finger prick. I told her if my levels were too high that I would do the test with an alternative drink.

    Doctors are not in control of you. They do not have to suffer in any way. You are in control of your body and your baby. It should never be their decision. It’s only their responsibility to give you options, and tell you risks. They do not have rights over your body or you, so never let one push you around. We are also doing the AC1 (this may be the wrong name, but it averages your sugar levels over three months).

  4. Ask for the A1C test! It is just a simple finger prick and is able to give an average blood sugar over a several month period! My Dr. had me do it once a month and it was so simple, painless, and accurate!

  5. Would you believe that 5 years ago when i was pregnant with my son & needed the 3 hour sugar testing, they let me eat a 50g Carb Snickers bar (that i brought & ate in front of them) instead of the nasty drink?? Looking back, I’m pretty shocked because with the added fat & protein in a Snickers, it’s not at all a rapid acting/simple sugar. But I’m not complaining, cuz it was sooo much better than having the icky sugar high (&crash!) that the Orange drink would’ve caused! Hoping that if for next baby i need to do test again, they’d let me do it again, or something constable off this list in the article!

  6. I have to say I didn’t knowthat I could say know to the gestational diabetes testing. I always thought it was a little pointless for myslef because even though diabetes runs in my family I am not a diabetic and I’ve never had any signs of it. I have already mad met appointment for it. Is it to late to cancel it. I dont feel I need it I’m rather heathly and don’t eat too many sweets as hard as that is. But something I’ve noticed bow that I’m on my 2nd baby is that I can say no. The doctors however don’t always make you feel like you have that choice. And I’m glad to know I do

  7. Ill be asking my doctor on Thursday if one 15oz bottle of Naked berry blast juice smoothie would work. One bottle has 49g of sugar. 🙂 A lot of the Naked juices are in the range of being able to work.

      1. He said that those would be perfect! He also suggested the ones that are over the 50g just to be on the safe side. 🙂 I go Thursday to take do the blood work. So glad I have an OB who is willing to try new things.

  8. My doctor said that he didn’t believe it was right to starve a pregnant woman, force a bunch of sugar in her and expect an accurate result for how her body will react to glucose. He told me to eat as I normally eat and come in an hour after my meal.

  9. My doctor let me choose of 3 things, either the nasty glucose drink, a 12oz can of sprite or a regular sized snickers bar. I never had to even endure the glucose drink itself, and after hearing what other people have said about its taste I’m glad.

  10. Hello, With my first son I had taken the glucose test with the orange drink and I was told I failed with high numbers. They scheduled a 3 hour test with the fruit punch drink and just before I got the results my water broke 2 months early. So my son was born at 31 weeks and was 5lbs 4oz at a hospital I wasn’t suppose to deliver in and with doctors and nurses I didn’t know and ended up having a cesarean section after trying to push for hours with no success… I asked what may have cause the premature birth and I was told it could’ve been because I had GD. I hadn’t even known about having it because I was already in the hospital. My father is a diabetic and has an extra machine he gave me to check my blood when I was pregnant with my second son and everything was fine. When I was sent for my glucose test for my second I failed and couldn’t understand how when I was checking it myself. Everything was fine after the second test and I was able to have my son at the original hospital by my home with my doctor at 39 weeks. I also had to get hormone shots because of my first pregnancy being premature.

  11. Renae Garrison

    I’ve only had one child so far and the glucose experience was horrible. My mother and older brother both developed diabetes from her pregnancy and that drove my doctors to test me, I didn’t eat as good as I should have but none the less I was tested every few months… I dreaded the appointments and would cry. I would get nausouse before consuming and then developed shakes, a severed head ache and almost pass out afterwards. I never new you could tell them no but would explain that I couldn’t handle it. They didn’t care. I never developed any problems and would have only a slight raise in blood sugar. Which didn’t make sense because I’m hypoglycemic. But you can be I Will not do that again, we will reach an understanding.

  12. Thankfully I researched OB options in my town prior to deciding on a caregiver option. I found out they had a great “Low Intervention Birth Program” new to the hospital and I am able to have a midwife handle all my care throughout pregnancy. She has been great about working with me on making my birth very low intervention and gave me the option of drinking grape juice for the test instead of the nasty test substance. We negotiated and agreed to do several random blood glucose checks if necessary, but she was satisfied with my results. The most disturbing thing for me has been that every time I go in, the office nurses ask me in a rather accusatory fashion if I have done my glucose test yet. Its terrible to have to defend my actions or options to someone every time I go in, especially when its already been discussed between me and my provider and she is fine with my results. I wish there was a polite way to tell people its not their concern…
    That much being said… gestational diabetes is a very real and dangerous complication of pregnancy. As a nurse myself I have seen obvious complications when it is not identified or treated correctly (mostly the later category). I would encourage anyone who is pregnant to do their research and come to an understanding with your health care provider about the kind of pregnancy that you want to have. You can FIRE your OB. Yes, its not ideal if you are far along, which is why its important to have those discussions upfront about how invasive procedures and choices to be healthier with less artificial junk being pumped into your body will affect your decision making about your health during pregnancy. I am so glad that someone else is speaking out on this. I feel like too many people blindly follow and don’t understand that they have the ability to be in charge of their own health.

  13. I’m aware that this is an old thread, but it got me thinking.
    I am 22 with no children, nor planning for any anytime soon. Still, the thought of an OB doctor telling ME I HAVE to do something gets under my skin!!
    I’m in nursing school and currently studying OB (which is how I found this amazing series of blogs, I love your ways and reasons behind them!) The only ingredient I see in the glucose drink that is necessary is the dextrose/glucose, depending on what exact kind you are doing. I know there are TONS of IV and pill forms of both glucose and dextrose, so why is that not an option? Why are they forcing women to drink this when 1. It has yellow dye number 6 which is not recommended during pregnancy and 2. There are clearly alternatives whether they be HEALTHY natural foods or pharmacological alternatives?!
    It frustrates me that there are clear alternatives that supposed medical professionals refuse to acknowledge.
    On another note, as I’m sitting here studying/researching birth practices… did you know that the majority of OB doctors refuse to let women labor or deliver in any other position than laying on their back? Which for many women is counter productive and forces them to work harder to deliver, like it’s not already hard enough for most.
    And don’t even get me started on OB doctors pushing and intimidating women into getting a cesarean as opposed to a vaginal delivery for their own reasons, and not for the health of.mother and baby.
    It upsets me that women in 2016 are still subjected to medical treatment such as this, many of them not even knowing they have any other choice. I hope in my nursing career, in some small way as I am only one person, I can change this for at least some women. Educate them about alternatives and let them know they DO have a say.

    1. Hi Alysha,
      Thanks so much for your comment and I love your enthusiasm, and especially that you’re going into the field with this attitude of truly helping spread information.

      Many parts of modern medicine are frustrating, but some are very encouraging – I think “the majority” of docs nowadays actually allow women to choose birthing positions, which is such a wonderful swing of the pendulum back from the 1950s when women truly were on their back (and probably was true into the 80s and maybe 90s too). C-section rate is still way too high in my opinion, so that’s the next hurdle of information to get over!

      Thanks, Katie

  14. This is my first pregnancy and I was asked to come in for my prenatal panel, in my 10th week. I was seriously over doing it w icecream at the time. No seriously overdoing it, on my way to get my blood drawn(because I had no idea about a glucose test) I ate three drumstick icecream cones. Don’t judge me. Then I was told I had to drink some weird stuff in a cup and wait an hour, I could barely keep it down. I felt awful, I finally got my blood drawn and went home. 4 days later I get a call from the nurses saying my glucose was 180! That no further testing was needed and that I have gestational diabetes! To say the least I freaked out! I was told I had to see a dietician and get a blood testing kit. So I spoke to my chiropractor because she is awesome but also because she just had a baby and knows things. She said to ask for my ca1 which is my 3 mo hemoglobin and a 3 hr fasting glucose test. The doctor said it wouldn’t change anything. It took them a month to get me the paper work twice I went in to pick it up and the nurses lied to me, one said I had already had the tests done. The other told me no further testing was necessary and I just had gestational diabetes and I better get with it. I was pissed, because 1 I feel like they had no control- how do they know what my glucose was before you added 100 g to my body? So I started testing, and always tested below the levels they said. Ha! I knew it, I just needed to lay off the icecream. Next time around I will have a midwife, because the pompous attitude of Ob’s really pisses me off. I vowed to never drink that mess again, no thanks!

  15. With baby #1 (1999) I drank the orange drink but did not tolerate it well. With baby #2 (2008, same provider) they let me eat jelly beans and take the test. So much better. With baby #3 (2011, new provider) I got ginger ale.

  16. Beware if you skip it what it may do to your medical record for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. I did. They labeled gestational diabetic since they couldn’t tell and now that’s on my medical transcript forever even though it was false. I switched doctors at 36 weeks and he said, “You should have just done the test because this is going to haunt you forever”

  17. I know this post is old but maybe I’ll get a reply

    When it came time for me to take my test I asked my dr how much of the “goo” I was supposed to drink 50 or 100 and she told me 100 so I went to take my test and drank the 100 I felt fine it didn’t make me sick at all but when I got my results a few days later they said I had failed with a 140 the cut off is 139. ONE POINT and that I would have to take the 3 hour test I asked about the amount I drank again and was told I drank to much and that was the reason I failed when I asked about refusing the 3 hour test they told me they couldn’t make me retest but that I would be considered as having GD and would have to go on a special diet and have appointments 2 times a week instead of once a month I would also have to do a non stress test. My question is has anyone has this problem besides me :/ ?

    1. Hey Ashley – I can’t say I’ve heard of just that problem, but ugh! Non stress tests are pretty normal in pregnancy, esp near the end. I’m not sure if they can *make* you go to extra appts – although they could drop you as a patient, but really – I would hope doctors would understand that a mistake was made and adjust their policies to match. Sigh…so sorry you have to deal with this during what should be an exciting time!
      Best – Katie

    2. I am 33 weeks with my first and failed my 1-hour glucose test about a month ago with a 139. My OB wanted it to be under 135, though I have had many people tell me under 140 is considered normal. So they tried to make me take the 3-hour test, which I just didn’t schedule and the nurse practitioner seemed fine with me just monitoring my diet as I haven’t gained much weight during my pregnancy and the baby isn’t measuring big. But then last week when I saw my OB again, she said she wanted to make sure I didn’t have GD and I needed to retake the 1-hour test. So I did, and the results this time were 147. Now they are telling me I HAVE to take the 3-hour test this week and I am really just upset about the whole thing. My diet isn’t *super* clean but at this point in my pregnancy and with my family history I am not concerned about GD and I hate feeling pushed into procedures I don’t want. If I fail the 3-hour I have to meet weekly with a diabetes educator/dietician at the hospital and I can’t help but feeling they are just doing it to make more money. I know it’s technically never too late, but I don’t feel comfortable switching care providers this late in my pregnancy. UGH!

      1. Oy, I’m so sorry Jordan, you’re between a rock and a hard place. Silver lining – there aren’t many weeks left of pregnancy if you do have to have weekly meetings. 🙂 It also feels like there’s barely time to make changes – what if you just said you’d eat a diabetic diet or test your sugar with a finger prick? I hope this all works out and that the bottom line is that you have a healthy baby this winter!! Blessings, Katie

  18. My midwife gave me juice alternatives….I can drink a bottle of Naked Brand Red Machine or drink 2 boxes of Whole Food brand Apple juice. I am going in for my test this upcoming friday. She also told me to eat an egg or 2.

  19. I did the orange drink with my son & had GD. I expected it, though. Diabetes runs in my family, and my mom had it with her pregnancies (and though I’m a bit overweight, my mom was a total skinny minny then). I decided then I wasn’t doing it with the next pregnancy. I already have the meter, so I’m going to ask (insist) on a script for test strips and test my sugar myself. I also ended up on metformin, which I’m not convinced was necessary, and that led to lots of ultrasounds and NSTs… not next time. I feel more prepared now, and am definitely more willing to put my foot down. ????

  20. Hello,

    I wonder why the orange juice cannot be from concentrate in order to substitute for the glucose test drink. In theory, if you drink enough OJ to equal 50g of sugar, wouldn’t that be comparable?


  21. My first pregnancy I had trouble holding anything down. They gave me the glucose drink to take home and said that if I couldn’t hold it down just eat a 3 Musketeer instead. I held it down but felt awful the rest of the evening. With my second pregnancy they didn’t tell me I was taking it and I ate sugary cereal and juice for breakfast so failed it and had to do it again. I wish they had told me or given me an alternative to the glucose drink. I’ll try to keep this in mind if I ever get pregnant again, Thanks for sharing! If juice is an alternative then why do they make us drink the nasty orange drink???

  22. I’m just wondering what people’s thoughts are on not doing the gestational diabetes test all together? I did complete the test during my last pregnancy but, not only did it make me feel terrible, I found out the next morning that my baby had passed away. No matter who I talk to I can’t help but think the test had some horrible affect on my baby. It has been 7 months since I lost my little man and I am ready to try and get pregnant again. I am terrified at the thought of the test & am considering declining the test for my next pregnancy…
    I have done lots of research on the topic but wonder if other people have denied testing?

    1. Tara,
      I’m so sorry, dear momma, and I grieve with you for your little one and your own tender heart. I cannot imagine. And I don’t think you’re crazy at all to connect that with the glucose test. If I were you, I’d do what I did with my last pregnancy and just do the finger pricks for a couple days. Then you know you’re not at risk of GD and you don’t have to go in for orange drink or blood test, safe on both sides. May you find a doctor who will respect your wishes!!!
      Hugs, Katie

      1. Thanks Katie x
        I think I will feel a lot better with that alternative.
        Thank you for your advice xxx

        1. I can’t imagine the pain of losing your baby 🙁 I’m very sorry for your loss … But to answer your specific question, absolutely you can refuse the test. I’m not advocating the refusal of it by everyone, but for me, personally, I have declined it with my last two children. The doctor got pretty upset with me but quite frankly I just didn’t care. I explained to her that I have no family history of diabetes, I’m also really thin and eat a diet low in sugars. I remember getting really sick with my first child after taking it. I just think it’s pointless for me. I’m on baby number four now, baby number 2 and 3 were perfectly healthy by the way! I have a different obgyn this time and I’m sure she will be upset with me but I plan to stick to my guns. I’m not taking it.

  23. I’m on baby #2 and my testing is scheduled this Tuesday. I called my doctors office to tell them that I do not what the drink the “chemical juice” and would prefer to go an organic route. My doctors office told me that if I don’t drink the juice (I hate calling it juice) they provided, then they would automatically list me as having GD and that I would be required to go to a lab 4x per day to get my finger pricked. If I refused to go to a lab 4x per day then they would refuse any prenatal service… I am beyond angry at this point. How can a doctor force a person to consume chemicals without any other alternative? Back in the day it was safe to smoke and drink while pregnant. Well we have learned a lot since then. But seeing as how food allergies, ADHD, ODD, Autisum, among serveral other childhood issues are on the rise… How are doctors not looking at what they are telling their patients they “have to” consume as a posible cause?

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Yikes! If it were me, that’s a red flag to get a new doctor, because he is not going to be any more flexible when you’re in labor. 🙁 🙁

      At the very least, I would ask if I could prick my OWN finger – diabetics do it every day and the machine isn’t all that expensive. If they insist you have to go to a lab to get pricked – and I’m just a mom here, not medical advice – but I would think they’re just being jerks because they don’t like you pushing back, for real. Good luck!!! 🙂 Katie

  24. Suzan Brinker

    After failing the one-hour test, I decided to opt out of the 3-hour test. I am not willing to put my body or my baby through the torture of 100g of processed glucose and other crap on a completely empty stomach. The first test made me nauseous enough. Instead, I told the doctor’s office I would just cut down carbs significantly and go straight to monitoring my blood sugar for several days. They were actually very supportive and even gave me a prescription, so my insurance could be billed for the blood sugar monitor. There is an alternative and you do have a choice!

  25. I have a corn intolerance and was concerned about taking the test since it is corn syrup based, well, I talked to my OB expecting resistance because its not a diagnosed “allergy”, and shebjust told me we’d do a fasting glucose test. I just had to fast 8hrs and get tested. She said since I didnt have pre existing diabetes that this test was now being used more for GD since it would detect any sognificant problems. So happy that I didnt have to suffer through the after effects of consuming that much corn! And my test came back clear 🙂

  26. I’m having #3 and am scheduled to take the test in a few weeks. With all 3, I have been diagnosed with hyperemesis (I puke over 5% of my body weight within the first trimester and keep right on losing until delivery). My first midwife insisted, even with all the vomiting, that I must take the test. I tried 3 times, but immediately started vomiting before I even finished the glucola and literally retched until I dry heaved. They said because I didn’t drink it all, it would skew the results and I never did the blood test. I was referred to a high risk ob clinic and the perinatologist was amazing. She just asked me to do a fasting finger stick 5 days a week for about a month. All the numbers were well within range, so we went to testing only the morning before appointments. Baby #2 I had the same dr and when I asked about the tolerance test, she said she would be fine accepting the same finger stick plan. My OB moved to a new state and the new one, while nice, is more worried, especially since I am heavier now. I am not willing to drink the glucola, eat jelly beans, OR eat a big breakfast. I can’t even keep down straight apple juice at the moment. I frequently go for several days unable to keep down water and they are still scheduling the tolerance test. The last time I took the test, I ended up in the hospital because I was so sick for so many days I became severely dehydrated and had cardiac issues from the dehydration. I know GD is a serious issue and I do think the test is valid. I just don’t think it is a big enough deal to risk another week in hospital on a cardiac monitor because I drank something I knew would make me ill. I’ll do the finger sticks. I have no problem with the finger sticks, even several times a day to the end of pregnancy. I am not drinking any more glucola though (but you won’t catch me with juice or a can of coke either).

    1. Oh, my goodness, God bless you Molly for going for no. 3! I can’t imagine the sacrifice you’re making to bring these bundles of joy into the world. Good thing they’re worth it, right? But I totally agree, glucola is NOT worth it for you. A week in the hospital? Craziness. Good for you to stand up for yourself!! I hope you find some relief (or at least have a baby who sleeps well to make up for a wild pregnancy). 😉 Katie

  27. I’ve just found out my 1 hour test was 144. The cut off is 140. The’ve asked me to take the three hour. I don’t want to. I’m afraid I’ll be sick. I have to fast 10 hours, then do the hourly test for 3 hours. The office is an hour from where I live and I have three other kids. I think I’ll tell them it’s too far with kids.. Im afraid of what they’ll tell me. If I don’t take it, I wonder if it will affect my insurance. I’m thinking of just doing finger pricks at home if that’s good enough. Thanks for advice. I liked this blog! 🙂

    1. I feel for you, Carroll! 🙁 Sooo tough! Can you open up a conversation with your doctor about doing the finger pricks? If you’re willing to do it, hopefully s/he will be willing to work with that, because the overall information should be the same. (I’d be petrified of a 10-hour fast too!)
      Good luck!!! 🙂 Katie

  28. Hi,
    This is my first pregnancy and just took the 1 hour glucose test. My doctor’s office’s cutoff is 130 and I got a 136. I have told my midwife that I would like to not take the 3 hour test and he was sort of ok about it but said that they prefer women to take the 3 hour test just in case they have GD.
    Thank you for all of the wonderful alternatives to the gross orange drink. My question is – for the alternatives, is that for the 1 hour test or 3 hour? Maybe I can convince my doctors office to let me eat the alternative breakfast and take the test again if it is for the 1 hour results.

    Thank you! So happy that other women are of the same mindset!

    1. Sarah,
      Shoot, that’s a question I’m really not sure of the answer to – I’ve never taken the 3-hour, so I don’t even have personal experience to extrapolate, like if you just drink the same old stuff, same amount, or what? It’s worth opening up a conversation with the doctor, and if you have someone in your life with diabetes from whom you could borrow a glucose monitor, I would bet doc would appreciate those numbers maybe?
      Good luck!

      1. So depending on the clinic there is 75g 2-hour test or 100g 3-hour test. I don’t have any info beyond that though.

  29. My dr just told me today that I had no choice but to drink the glucose and take the test. I told her about what I had read online about the glucose. In one post on another website, I had seen there is brominated vegetable oil in it, which is a flame retardant and illegal in Europe. It can be passed to baby through breast milk and cause a film to form over your organs…ew. She just brushed it off. I’m supposed to take it on the first of March, but I’m seriously considering refusing to take the test, I’m just worried about how I’ll be treated afterwards.

    1. Not to barge in, but did you end up taking the test? I recently told my doctor I don’t want to take it (due with baby#3 and have taken the test with the first two) and they are basically telling me to suck it up and do it. Hope everything went well with whatever you chose!

    2. I am pregnant with our second child. With my first, I weighed about 30lbs less and just barely passed my glucose test. That was almost 4yeasts ago. Now with me second, my OB office had me take the GD test at 14 weeks to test for pre-existing diabetes. I threw up a good portion of the glucola and didn’t pass my 1 hour test. So I had to take the 3 hour. Now they are making me take another test in a few week’s when I reach 28 weeks. If for some reason I don’t pass this one, I will have to drink a total of 4 bottles of the glucola syrup. I will be calling my OB office to see if I may eat/drink an alternative meal.

  30. Glad to know some of this I will talk to my OB when the time comes. I am very sensitive to corn products and most specifically corn sugars, they cause rashes and often intense stomach cramping and pain and usually screw up my digestive system. It was a diagnosis from my naturopath so unfortunately my GP generally poohoo’s it… I hope my OB will listen to some alternatives, I do need the test as I have a family history of GB but I do not want to spend the day in agony!

  31. I’m glad for discussions like this with alternatives listed. I just switched OB’s mostly because of this test. My old one told me to ‘just drink it, it’s fine’ and if I couldn’t keep it down (I haven’t drank soda since I was 7 or 8 years old- I’m 32 now) that I’d have to do the finger prick testing until I gave birth! That just seemed completely ridiculous to me. I’m not adverse to taking the test, I just have a serious issue with my body not processing fake sugars- particularly dextrose, no matter what it is derived from (horrible stomach pains and feeling sick for days). My new OB, actually a midwife, seems like if I asked to not take the test she wouldn’t have a problem at all. She told me the only way they will tell you there is no alternative is if you want to water birth. That was her only stipulation, and I can handle and respect that one a lot more!

  32. I didn’t know there was another option (or I could say no). Immediately after drinking it I got severely nauseous and was shaking. I passed out while driving home from the dr’s office. Thankfully I had pulled the car over before I went out. My husband had to borrow a car and come get me. Never again!

  33. I’m so happy I found this! I was SO sick when I had to drink that awful stuff! Then they said my numbers were on the verge and I had to do an even longer version. That one made me sick for about 2 days. I was a little worried about GB because my mom’s side of the family pretty much all have diabetes. Not to mention getting my blood drawn 4 times it made me very woozy. But the second test showed I was normal. I’m definitely going to ask if I can do the simple way next time!!

  34. Gina @ Oaxacaborn

    Thanks for linking to my blog! When I opted out of the glucose drink four years ago, there was almost no readily-available information on the internet about alternatives. I’m so glad to see more women talking about this!

  35. Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    I was so happy when I found out my birth center just wanted me to eat a regular breakfast (although they wanted me to make sure I ate certain things) for my test! Glad you’ve shared this info with so many others!

    1. Hi Lisa what did your doctor tell you to eat? My office just said a healthy breakfast but I am not sure what to eat. Thanks!

  36. With both pregnancies my midwives let me eat organic sour gummies equal to 50 g. Great, since I have a corn intolerance! I switched from my OB and (one of the many) reasons was that they’d drop me if I refused the drink!

  37. I had the orange goo with my first pregnancy and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My last two pregnancies were at a free standing birth center, and like another reader mentioned, my test consisted of eating a breakfast of toast, one egg, 8 oz of orange juice and 8 oz of milk. It makes way more sense to do it that way, since the fat you consume with the carbs help to keep your blood sugar from spiking. I feel like a lot of people get false positives, because whose blood sugar wouldn’t spike with a drink like that? My test for baby #4 is on Tuesday. 🙂

  38. I am borderline diabetic when I am not pregnant & I test positive for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Several years ago I switched to a mostly whole foods diet & lost 45lbs. With my most recent pregnancy, I did not want to drink the glucose solution for the reasons you mentioned. It seemed like a waste of time because I knew that I would fail the test & I was already testing my blood sugar on a regular basis, eating healthy, exercising & taking medication ( I have to take metformin to control my blood sugar & PCOS symptoms all the time but especially in pregnancy or I will miscarry.). With this pregnancy, I was going to a midwife and planning a birth at a free-standing birth center and because of my diabetes history I had to see a fetal medicine specialist in order to do this. When it came time for the glucose test the midwife gave me 3 options: glucose solution, jelly beans or a breakfast of toast w/ jelly, orange juice & egg that contained a certain amount of carbs. I chose the 3rd option & actually passed the glucose tolerance test for the first time in my life! I thought the doctor that was monitoring my gestational diabetes would disapprove of the test & make me do the glucose solution but she was actually impressed & said that the food test makes more sense because it shows that your body is processing or not processing real carbs. She also told me that the glucose solution is 2x more sugar than a sugary soft drink. Who would consume that amount of sugar on a regular basis??

  39. In my first pregnancy, I had the test. After drinking the orange goo, I was supposed to sit in the waiting room until they called me. After 15 minutes my baby freaked out–jumping and shaking like I’d never felt before–and I was afraid something was very wrong, but there was nobody at the window between waiting room and lab. When the lady came back and I stood up to talk to her, I was suddenly horribly dizzy and wound up lunging across the room to projectile-vomit orange goo mostly into the wastebasket but also onto the carpet and wallpaper. I called my primary care doctor because he’d taken my very low blood pressure seriously (whereas my midwife said, “It’s HIGH blood pressure that would be a problem,” even when I started fainting), and he advised me to go get a big bowl of soup and a cup of coffee, then fast for 3 hours and return to the lab later in the day. I had to drink ANOTHER orange goo, but at least the test worked out and I passed.

    I returned to the same lab for an unrelated test 7 years later. The lady recognized me: “You’re the one that made us change the wallpaper!” My claim to fame. >:-(

    I wish I could say I refused the test with my second baby, but I did end up agreeing to have it after fasting 3 hours, not overnight. It was okay.

  40. Susan Alexander

    My midwives offered me a few breakfast options instead of the drink, but none were doable for me because they all had a raw banana, which I am allergic to. 🙁 I’m not that perfect of an eater anyway, so I just did the test. :/

      1. Susan Alexander

        It was icky, but survivable. I had to take the three hour with two of my previous pregnancies, so nothing compared to that intense sugar drink. :p

  41. I argued for fruit juice last time and was told that it’s not possible. Then this time, my new midwife just informed me they’ve been doing the test for years with organic grape juice. Yeah!!!

  42. I refused it for the same reasons you mention and had no alternative testing done. The best remedy for GD is dietary changes to a diet more like mine anyway (though I do love desserts sweetened with unrefined sugars), so I figured I was good. My daughter is beautiful and perfectly healthy.

  43. Interesting. My Ob’s office was so hardcore on the junk they wouldn’t let me have a drink of water to wash out my mouth. It might screw up the results. I wish I knew back then what I know now.

  44. Did the glucose drink with baby #1, when I had a midwife in a hospital. They caught the fact that I had GD,v despite eating healthy. Stove then, I have gone gluten free and eat even more healthfully. Baby #2 my blood sugar was still a bit erratic, but lower overall. I had a home birth midwife and she let me test at home with a finger prick test after a high carb breakfast. Sine then, I have been diagnosed with prediabetes, whether exactly that means! This is in spite of eating a whole food diet, relatively low grain and no wheat. So, who’s I am definitely not approaching this with a mainstream medicine mindset, I think some kind of testing for blood sugar is useful, especially in pregnancy!

    1. Even though you are eating a whole food diet and limiting grains, certain healthful foods can still spike your blood sugar. Certain fruits- I can’t eat very many grapes for example or only have half an apple or my sugar goes too high. Potatoes also really raise blood sugar and it is a food they suggest diabetics or pre-diabetics avoid. At the very least, if you do eat something high in carbs, try and have protein with it, to help level it out. You should never have carb only in a snack or meal. This has been very helpful to me, I was prediabettic for years and then turned diabetic. Luckily I can take pills no shots, so I am trying super hard to keep it under control.

  45. I’m not surprised about the fruit juice. It hits your bloodstream just like pure sugar. Juice could easily replicate the glucose drink. I wonder if the more complex carbs like the banana or bread options, or the lactose in milk, would hit the bloodstream in the same manner. I wouldn’t think so. I would think they would not mimic the glucose test as well as juice.

    1. Karen,
      My untrained mind says the same thing – shouldn’t be exactly the same – but if the doc allows it and it still gives them *enough* information to learn whether your body is handling sugars appropriately or not, I’m going to embrace it. 🙂 Katie

  46. My midwife just did the regular old finger prick. We never even talked about anything else! She asked me what I had eaten that day and when… End of story.

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